Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Okay, okay.....

Okay....I know....... I just did this.

I just posted a lot about going to Disney, and this is a lot more Disney. But see, we went again. Jeff got us annual passes this year, as a Christmas gift. We have never had them before. For us, 2009 will be...The Year of the Mouse.

And it just so happens that Kaitie and Emilee both have birthdays in February. We were just going to go for Kaitie's, and celebrate Emilee's a different way. After the first trip though, Jeff and I started planning the second trip. We didn't tell Emilee until a couple of days before it. It was just a quick day, but it was so worth it.

Here she is, at the beginning of her day:

We saw a lot of characters that we didn't see last time:

I know you can't see Emilee's face well here, but I wanted to show that the characters were in good, teasing form.

Teasing, and more teasing.....

Riley enjoyed getting an autograph book signed this time:

Eeyore drew some rain clouds, of course.

This is Rosetta, who is one of Tinkerbell's friends at Pixie Hollow. Riley LOVED her.

Riley wasn't as comfortable with Tinkerbell, who asked her about her talents. I think she felt a little put on the spot. When Tinkerbell asked Riley what she liked to do though, Riley answered that she liked to sing. I wasn't really expecting that answer.

We went to Ariel's for lunch:
Ariel had obviously not ridden Splash Mountain that morning like we had. She was perfectly put together.

Jeff would not stand in this picture. Can you imagine? He was great about the whole princess lunch thing, but had to draw the line somewhere, I guess.

Cinderella was my favorite princess at lunch. I wish I hadn't taken the picture from this angle! That window light was not helping.

Cinderella even got Emilee to join her in a princessy pose.....

I should have taken all the pictures from this angle. Snow White was the one who looked the most like her character. We also met Belle and Aurora.

Our awesome waiter belted out the birthday song....and Emilee felt just as she should at thirteen.

This picture of the girls after they went on the Tower of Terror (no, Riley did not go this time) reminds me of how the birthday song sounds in my ears:

Think of scary music, like in a suspenseful movie. You know how really often, it is the frightening music that alerts you to danger? It brings you to the edge of your seat, prepared to scream? You know something is coming, but you really don't know what it is yet.... That is kind of how the birthday song sounds in the ears of a mom when her child turns thirteen! ;)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to Emilee!

Here is Emilee posing at the entrance of California Adventure, where we spent a good deal of this, her thirteenth birthday! She was making the F into an E, in case you can't tell.....

We had a quick, but really fun trip! More later.....

Happy Birthday, Emilee!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blast from the Past.....2006....

This post is from about three years ago, when Emilee had just turned 10. It was still a novelty then, to have a camera phone. Let's see...what else do I need to clarify? I am pretty sure Ryan and Ally are adults now, but that is still a strange concept:

I remember what it was like to be a kid, but I am glad it has been awhile!

This morning, I used a whole bleach pen to clean the grout on my kitchen counters....and it's not even 9:00 yet. I can probably coast on that job done for an hour or so of guilt free computer time. That's how I get sometimes, which is a little silly. I am an adult. I don't have to "earn" my computer time, like my kids do. Oh well. My kitchen counters look really great.

It's funny...that line drawn between adults and children. I don't know exactly where it is. I have two grown children...are they adults? They are at least flirting with that line, where ever it is.

I'm glad to be my age, and wouldn't go one day backward. I would turn back a few numbers on the scale quickly enough, but not the calendar.

Two days ago, we went to a tournament soccer game of Kaitie's. The grass on the soccer field was so green and beautiful. Kaitie pranced through it to join her team, and Emilee, Riley and I headed for the small bleachers. It was early, and hardly anyone was there. As I walked with my younger girls, I commented that I would really like to rest in that grass. It was so inviting. Emilee's face practically turned into a movie screen where I could see her little thoughts broadcast directly to me. She didn't want me to do anything embarrassing.

I sat in the bleachers, and Emilee and Riley ran around. They came running to me, and Riley exclaimed, "Mom, you have to come lay in the grass with us." I looked at them and said, "I will if Emilee says it's okay, but if she says no, I'm not going to do it." I do remember being absolutely horrified by things my mom said and did. (No offense of course, Mom...that's just the way kids are.) Emilee said, "Sure you can, if you want to."

I walked with Riley to a corner of the grounds, and settled down to look straight up at the sky. It was very late in the afternoon. The wind was playing some kind of tag with the clouds. I think if they were tagged, they had to turn a little different shade to prepare for the coming sunset. The grass was soft, and thick. It felt so wonderful. Riley was so happy....Emilee was not.

It was such a short minute until she said, "Can you get up now?" "Hey," I asked, "When are you going to learn that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks?" I know full well, that she will have to double, or triple her ten years before she won't be quite as worried. But, the game wasn't even on yet. It's not like I was in the goal box or something....or center field. I was far from the field itself. Hardly anyone was there. And yet, Emilee was so concerned. Well, I had said that if she didn't want me to do it, I wouldn't. So I went back to the bleachers like the more respectable moms. Do I make it a habit to "obey" a ten year old? Not really....but I'm a softie when I remember how much I worried about some things that my own mother did.

Emilee and Riley spent much of the rest of the game trying to take pictures with my phone. Those pictures don't turn out very well, but it's a really great activity for little girls. One of my friends told me that she needed to get a phone that takes pictures, just for that reason. Riley takes pictures of the back of me while I drive all the time. That phone really does keep her busy. See, the little girls always want to play with MY stuff.....but Emilee didn't want me to come to their level. I think I will bring that up next time.

My counters look so good, I could make a commercial....but I can't make food. That would ruin everything. I guess I will have to go out for lunch later.....

Have a great day!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Riley: I have 27 first cousins. Just 27 first cousins alone! And my whole family is big and loud.....

Okay, Riley didn't say it. Toula Portokalos did, but Riley COULD say it. (Do you know the movie?)

Over the holiday weekend, Riley and eleven of her best cousins celebrated some birthdays. These two young men came from out of town, and were the center of attention:

One turned five, and one turned six, so there were two sets of candles on that Yoda cake.

So two of my sisters and one of my brothers brought their gangs to town for this, and we had a crazy time. First, there was the invasion of the bowling alley....

We took three lanes, and not everyone even bowled.

Here are some "celebration" pictures:

And here are some "quieter" moments:

But that is not all, oh no, that is not all. Next, came the pinata portion of the party. Poor Elmo!

Riley was delighted to find money in the pinata. I included this picture, because it is surely one of her last pictures with front teeth. Both of her top front teeth are very loose, and driving me a little crazy. She kept making these unusual faces, where she really looked like she was wearing costume teeth.

Pieces of Elmo were almost as popular as the money and candy that was contained inside!

That night, all the adults went out for dinner, while the brave (and so kind) older cousins watched all the little ones. Whoever raised those great older kids should really be patting herself on the back. They are the best ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Valentines.....

Here I am with my Valentines....The Love of My Life, and those who have joined us for the adventure!

I love that Riley is "driving" here!

(Thanks to Jenn, for helping capture these particular moments....yes, go ahead and click on her name to view her up and coming website!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Disney Pictures......

Growing up in You-Can't-Get-Much-More-Southern-Than-This, California, and two places in Quite-Southern, Arizona, I got to go to Disneyland a fair number of times growing up. I am old enough to remember E that's getting old! I remember having Mickey Mouse shaped balloons tied to stroller handles, when I was little. I remember going as a teenager, and being thrilled that my parents let me and my sister go and do our own thing for awhile.

I also remember intense jealousy for anyone who got to stay in the Disneyland Hotel. I thought everyone got to do that except for me. Back then, I thought the Monorail went right through the lobby of that hotel, picking up guests, and delivering them wherever they wished to go. I thought they were having dinner delivered to their rooms by Mickey himself. Don't worry. I know I was lucky to be going. I am just telling you some of my childhood thoughts.

So, this trip, I finally got to do it. I stayed at The Hotel. Luckily, I was over some of those childhood imaginations, or I might have been disappointed. Before I went, I told my sister that I was sure the rooms were standard rooms, except they had Tinkerbell wallpaper borders. That was a pretty accurate description. But I loved it so much.

Both mornings we were there, I was the first one up. I sat by the window and watched the sun come up over the Matterhorn. I got ready early, so I could rush everyone in our two adjoining rooms along. I didn't want to miss a minute of anything.

Here are a few pictures of our time there:

At LAST.....

This is right inside the lobby....

Riley was pretty enthusiastic too. I told her I couldn't believe she got to do this at six years old!

This Mickey statue is out in front of the hotel, like a greeter when you drive up...

Riley loved her princess bed...

Speaking of princesses, this is how one gets ready for a Disney day...

The gold mirror was great, but I liked this one even more....

We ate breakfast at the hotel, which was another one of those things I always thought would be fun. We hadn't ever done the Character Breakfast thing, but here we are in Goofy's Kitchen:

It was the most fun buffet I have ever seen! Riley is eating a slice of peanut butter and jelly pizza. You can see that she is going to have a Mickey Mouse waffle after that.

There was plenty of entertainment at breakfast too. Here is Chip....we didn't get to see Dale.

Goofy and Baloo were hilarious. I was up taking a picture of Baloo, who showed up first, and Goofy came up behind me. I didn't know he was there, but he delighted my family by putting my jacket hood on me from behind, and pulling it over my face.

Goofy continued to amuse the family by being a big flirt!

Baloo took my place at the table, and acted like he was going to eat my breakfast.

Jeff played along with all the craziness. This is one of the girls' favorite pictures.

After breakfast, we left the hotel for a short walk to the Monorail. Jeff and Riley led the way.

I was practically giddy that I was really riding the Monorail in to Disney, rather than standing with the crowds outside the main gates!

Once inside, we divided into "teams" a lot. Here is Jeff with Riley and his mom, off to the Jungle Cruise.

This group skipped the Jungle Cruise, and came with me next door to Indiana Jones. We joked about how we traumatized Emilee on this ride years ago, and made her sit on the edge by the snake. This time, I had to sit there......

This is after a Hillbilly show we went to see at The Golden Horseshoe Theater. We often skip those shows, but we thought Grandma S. would like it. It was actually pretty good!

Donald showed his usual true-jealousy-of-Mickey-character, by holding down Riley's pink ears.

This is on the California Adventure side. The rapids were fun, because it was something the whole family could do together. We rode it twice, and it was hours before we were dry again.

This is in line for the Tower of Terror. You can tell Riley is very worried. I felt bad afterward for taking her on it, because it was too scary for her. (On the other hand, she talked of little else the day she went back to school.)

This is also in that Tower of Terror line. Emilee is a great one to stand by!!

Yes, I was one of THOSE people, who didn't buy the picture, but took a picture of it on the wall. The girls LOVED Splash Mountain. We rode it a few times, because the crowds were light.

We saw lots of characters, but Riley wasn't completely satisfied until this one. What is it about Minnie Mouse?

Anyway, I have at least a hundred more pictures, but this is probably already more than I needed to show. We had a great time!